Sunday, October 29, 2006

Truth in advertising

Breakfast at Shoney's... so bad, there's no where to go but up.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Weekend get away...

Since before J.J. was born, my mom has been begging to keep him overnight: "Why don't you and Joe plan a trip over Memorial Day weekend for your Birthday? I'll watch the baby."

Yeah, right.

Back on Labor Day, she babysat so Joe and I could go to a movie. As she delivered him to us at our designated meet-up spot (super secret so you won't stalk us), she said, "I need to keep him overnight some time". I reminded her that both J.J. and I spent the night at her place when Joe travelled to Denver for the Titans preseason game.

"Yeah, but YOU were there."

Yeah, I was there, and she and her friend kept him up until 10:30 anyway...

Well, Joe's judging the Jack Daniel's BBQ Saturday, so she's getting her wish as we're spending the night in Lynchburg. I think I've over-packed just about anything she might need, along with a full page (so far) of notes.

So, as we're stuffing ourselves with BBQ, J.J. will be getting spoiled by his Grandma & favorite aunt. Lillie Biscuit gets a couple of nights at the doggie hotel & Zitty gets the run of the house.

I just wish the house cleaning fairies would make a visit while we're away. I wonder if Zitty can mop?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Based on a true story...

Sung loosely to the tune of Clementine. My apologies to BB and anyone else who was dining at Yellow Porch two weeks ago who had to witness me singing this (but it made J.J. happy):

Lillie Biscuit,
She's our doggie,
And she's stiiiiiin-ky 'cause she's wet.
She was playing
With her sister
To see how tired
They could get.

They were running,
They went swimming,
They were roooool-ling on the ground.
They were playing
With a towel
They had found.

Then Mattie went home,
Leaving Lillie
in the baaaaaaack yard all alone.
So she tried to
Dig a tunnel
But had to stop
When daddy got home.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I wonder where he got his sense of humor?

J.J. and I were at Kroger the other day, strolling through the aisles, trying to remember what that last item we needed was, since we didn't stop what we were doing and write it down when we thought of it because surely, we'd remember.

"Hmm... was it something we need for dinner? What were we doing when I asked you to remind me? Was it Oatmeal? No. Juice? Got plenty. Hmm... Lemonade? Let's hope it's not something we can't live without, because we're going home without it!"

At this point, J.J. broke into a big toothless grin, blew a raspberry, and laughed as the drool ran down his chin.

"He's not really much help, is he?" asked a man near me, as I wiped off J.J.'s chin with the ever-present burp cloth.

Startled that someone (other than J.J. - although I suppose that would have startled me as well) was responding to my questions, I looked up to see if perhaps I knew this guy. Nope.

I ignored him (my standard M.O.).

"I mean, it's not like he's going to answer you, you know. You've spent what, 20 minutes talking to him as if he can understand you and he's just wondering when you're going to get around to changing his diaper."

I walked away, continuing to ignore the man (besides, J.J.'s diaper was not in need of changing), and leaned over and told J.J., "Don't listen to a word he's saying, baby. He's just jealous because he doesn't have anyone as special as you to talk to."

As if on cue, my little guy burst into the biggest belly laugh, tried to catch his breath, then farted, which made him laugh even harder.

"What did you tell him? Hey - what did you say to him?" our shopper demanded.

I smiled, shrugged, and said, "Nothing - I might as well be talking to myself."

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

His cooing has never sounded so good...

Excuse me for just a few minutes while I bury my integrity... Do navel gazers have integrity? Anyway, I just want to make it clear that unlike other stuff I rave about just because they're cool, I was sent this monitor and asked to review it...


When I was asked if I would be interested in reviewing a new baby monitor from Philips, my first thought was, "We already have a baby monitor - how different could it be?"

But I checked out their site, and this monitor seemed pretty slick. And, being the self-proclaimed gadget whore I am, I decided to give it a try.

Sure, J.J.'s monitor does what it's supposed to do - it monitors J.J.’s room and allows me to wander farther than hearing distance when he's taking a nap or playing in his crib. But here's where the Philips DECT baby monitor is different - our old monitor is always there, hissing at us while it broadcasts J.J.'s lullabies, sometimes making it difficult to enjoy our weekly "date night". This monitor is much more polite - only interrupting when it notices a change in the sound in the nursery. It's like it evaluates the room and says, ok - those lullabies are pretty constant and there's no need to waste my time sending those downstairs to mom and dad, so if the noise in here changes, I'll let them know.

I'm getting ahead of myself... From the time we opened the package, it was apparent this monitor was different. It's sleek. The parent unit is battery operated with a charger and is small enough to slip in a pocket and comes with a lanyard so you can hang it around your neck while carrying laundry or getting other chores done. So there's less of a chance of you leaving it in the laundry room because you don't have a free hand to grab it.

But get this - the parent unit doesn't just receive - it also lets you communicate back to the base. So if J.J. starts yelling, I can say, "Hey baby - momma's on her way," and hope the sound of my voice distracts soothes him while I hightail it to the nursery. Plus, the bear has lots of fun carrying it around the yard, talking to her daddy while he mans the base.

Or, I can set it on the windowsill next to the shower and not have to skip conditioning my hair or shaving my legs because I'm afraid JJ might need my attention.

The monitor plugs in and sits in the nursery, and, well, monitors the nursery (or whatever room it happens to be in). But that's not all... It comes with a cool travel case and both units can run off of battery power, so it can easily go with you. It also plays lullabies (which you can turn on remotely - umm, hello? This is HUGE: baby fusses, mom says, "It's ok baby", turns on the lullabies, and he falls right back to sleep) and it has a night-light.

Think about this - I know when J.J. spends the weekend with his grandma at the end of this month, I won't be dragging his monitor and boom box and lullaby CD and night-light to Spring Hill. It's all included in the monitor... I also won't be dragging diapers, because she already called to tell me she bought a pack and they're waiting for him, but that's beside the point.

Once we had set up the monitor and charged the parent unit, we decided to test it out. First big difference: our old monitor had 10 channels we could choose from, in case there was interference on the one we were using, all we had to do was switch to a different channel. This monitor selects a clear channel automatically. I grabbed the parent unit, and carried J.J. outside to test things out.

"Where are you?” asked Joe. I responded, "We're clearing Tim's driveway" (next door). We continued on, and once I got three houses away, Joe requested that we return, as he was getting lonely. It's not likely that I'll go for a stroll while J.J. is asleep, but what this does mean is I can go a couple houses down the street if I need to talk to the neighbors, and if J.J. and Joe need me to come home, all they have to do is tell me (or page the parent unit - which is a handy feature if we should forget where we set it down).

There's also a temperature readout on the parent unit. It came in handy the first evening we used it. We were comfortable downstairs, but a quick glance showed me that it was getting cool upstairs and I ran up and turned on the heat. Pretty handy this time of year, when we often find it necessary to have the AC on during the day, and the heat at night. But think of the safety uses - if there were to be a fire upstairs, I'd be able to see that the temperature was rising before things got out of control and the smoke detectors went off.

The 2-way capabilities of this monitor will make it a lot more useful once J.J. is older - Joe can have the parent unit with him if he's doing yard work, and won't have to run inside and upstairs dripping blood everywhere next time he has an incident with the mower. And when we have our next yard sale, I won't have to wait for Joe to wander outside to ask him to make a run for Cherry Limeades.

If any expectant parent (like my sister in law) were to have asked me a few weeks ago about baby monitors, I would have shrugged and said ours was OK, but they're pretty much all the same. But I have to say after taking this Philips for a test drive, I would whole-heartedly recommend anyone add it to their baby registry. A big thanks to Philips for letting us try this out!

Friday, October 13, 2006

...and bring your dog bags...

Come on out to Nashville's Dog Day Festival at Centennial Park this weekend!

No, seriously, I need someone to help manage Lillie Biscuit while Joe's busy. She seems to think the stroller is something she is supposed to knock over so she can get to J.J. Kind of like a piƱata, without the stick.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

57 Channels and Nothing On

Sunday nights used to be big TV nights in our home. A full day of football was followed by laughing at the dogs and cats on AFV, catching up with the Desperate Housewives, then upstairs to watch The Family Guy and American Dad who were waiting for us on the VCR.

We gave up on Housewives about midway through last season. Maybe not even that far. It just got - ridiculous.

And if we even bother with Family Guy it's only to fast forward to Stewie and Brian, since they're the only ones who make us laugh. Ditto for Roger on American Dad. Each show now takes up 5 minutes of our time, max.

Monday night, CSI Miami is on, and Joe just has to get his weekly fix of Horatio (his admitted man crush, but don't tell him I told you that). Since he now works on Monday evenings, that usually means he cuddles up with Horatio via TiVo on one of his days off. Sometimes, I get stuck having to watch it too, but thankfully, I can get away with sitting on the couch with my tablet or a Sudoku puzzle, looking up and saying "mmm hmm" whenever Joe says, "Look, honey, we've been there!"

Thursday, we used to hang out with Earl. Fridays, it was Monk. Both have been disappointing lately. Why the focus on Joy? And Monk. Monk's trying too hard. He's lost that "Monkness" about him that was so sweet and quirky. He's definitely more bitter now - sometimes he's just downright mean.

So, out of the necessity of Joe's new work schedule and the amount of suckage from our shows, we've consolidated all of our television watching to one evening - Wednesdays. The night Lost (aka "the only show worth watching") is on.

While Joe is taking the bear home, I give J.J. a bath and get him to bed, and we meet up in the family room between 7:00 and 7:30, with the baby monitor, just in case J.J. decides to wake up.

We'll usually knock out a show or two from the TiVo list, then start in on Lost once it has had some time to get rolling, catching up with real time before it's over. Then another show or two from our list, and we're out.

I'm wondering what will happen when we get tired of the shows we have left and our TiVo is filled up with Bob the Builder, Barney, and the Big Comfy Couch. I have a feeling I may need to stock up on Sudoku...

And I'll have those meatballs for lunch...

When we have another baby, the nursery is coming from IKEA. Even if it means driving to Atlanta (we still don't have a complete crib).

Hey - I know you can hear me now...

When we brought J.J. home from the hospital, we set up and tested our baby monitor. Joe told me to stand in the nursery talking, while he took the receiver around the house and yard to see what our limits were. He kept talking into the "receive" only unit, asking if I could hear him.

My sister, not always patient with Joe's unique sense of "humor" kept telling him that NO, I could NOT hear him, since the unit he had was for listening only. Joe ignored her, and kept asking, "Hey, Linda, can you hear me? Can you hear me?". To this day, if I'm on the phone with my sister, Joe will tell me to ask her if she can hear him, and still gets a kick out of it.

Neither she nor I are amused.

Well, GOOD NEWS! We just got a new baby monitor (more to come), and the "parent unit" not only receives the sounds from the monitor in the nursery, it allows us to talk back! That means if little J.J. wakes up and we're downstairs (or three houses away, dragging Lillie Biscuit back home), we can talk to him and let him know we're on the way.

He, of course, is just as confused when our voices come from the little dome on the table next to his crib as he is when daddy's voice comes out of the box on the wall with all the pretty lights and moving pictures (that would be the television). But at least we feel better about those 25 seconds between when he wakes up and when we get to him.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Google got hacked...

I thought it was strange this weekend when this post showed up on the official Google Blog - I mean it wasn't even April Fool's.
After concientiously (sic) considering, Google has decided not to continue with Google Click-to-call project. The project has been in the media on last days because of the notice of Google agreement with e-Bay. We finally consider click-to-call agreement with e-Bay a monopolistic aproach (sic) that would damage small companies in the CRM area.
I thought it was odder that the following footnote was at the bottom:
This message has been translated using Google language tools.

Even more of a surprise to me was when Google opted not to delete and ignore, but fess up to the Blogger bug that allowed it. And no, I didn't miss the irony that their previous post was all about security...

Friday, October 06, 2006


Look who's back!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Here kitty kitty...

So I get home from work yesterday to find the front porch had been decorated for Halloween. Other than the fact that the witch who has "crashed" into our front door has already scared the bejeebus out of me at least a dozen times (from the inside, it looks like there's someone standing on the porch, smashed up against the door, looking in), I love it!

I also found Zitty's food dish and a bowl of water on the sidewalk.

When I got inside, poor Zitty was sitting in front of the refrigerator, staring at the empty spot where his food dish used to be.

Both the bear and Joe were quick to ask if I saw the decorations and if the kitty was still there.

"Kitty - you mean Sid from across the street and two doors over? The orange tabby with no tail?" Sid visits our yard quite often.

"No, not Sid - a little calico kitty. She was hungry."

I went outside to get Zitty's food and looked around for signs of the calico. Nothing. Maybe she went home.

A few hours later, she showed up again. A tiny tortoiseshell - not a baby kitten, but a very small, young cat. Lillie tried to bust through the storm door to see her.

She hung around all night, and slept on one of the cushioned chairs on our porch off the kitchen. I went out to visit her once, sitting down in the chair next to where she was sleeping. She immediately woke up, jumped off her chair, then up into my lap, where she curled into a little kitty ball, and fell asleep, purring.

As I stared down at the little fuzzball, I thought, "We don't need another cat. We HAVE a cat. Zitty would have a fit. And we have Lillie. And a baby. And we don't need another cat. We don't need the additional vet bills and the additional food bills and Joe certainly doesn't want to clean the litter box twice as often as he does now. What should we name her?"

I had just about decided on her name, when I reminded myself that we do not need another cat. I had already decided I was going to take pictures, post "found" signs around the neighborhood, and post both here and on Joe's blog, should no owner come forward, and see if someone had a home just waiting for this sweet little kitty.

When I woke up with JJ at 6:00, she was still out there, sleeping on the chair.

By the time I left for work - she was gone.

I got in and emailed my mom and told her about this little kitty and how I might have to find a home for her. Mom's initial response was that she would take her, as long as the kitty had long hair. When I responded that the kitty did not have long hair (but emailed Joe to check on the possibility of getting some kitty hair extensions), she replied that of course she wanted the kitty no matter what kind of hair she had.

So I forward the news to Joe and ask if kitty has been around this morning.

She hasn't. And she wasn't there when I was home for lunch. And my mom called when I was home at lunch, telling me how this was the perfect time to get a new pet, as she's off from work next week and we talked about when and where to meet tomorrow to get the kitty to her.

But, there's no kitty.

Mom told me to put out some food and water in case the kitty comes back when both Joe and I are at work this afternoon. And I did.

So, little kitty, if you're the type of cat who reads blogs and should see this, come on back, because I have found a wonderful home for you in Williamson county. You'll have a human mom and a kitty sister and a canine sister. You can go outside in the backyard, where you're safe within the fence, and there are two sweet little boys next door who will come over and pet you.

I mean, unless you already have a home and just decided to visit us for the night.

Then, we'd be the ones cat-napping...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Please don't suck - it's the only show I have left

TiVo set: check
Date night scheduled with Joe: check
Pizza ordered: not yet - it's too early
Cold beer in fridge: check

The season premiere of Lost is on this evening... Are you ready? I saw a promo for it yesterday, and apparently the first 5 minutes are supposed to "blow you away".

I guess that means the 54 minutes after that will be a recap of the past two years.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

There's nothing like a little drama in the morning...

Not this morning, though - J.J. and I were on our own this morning, since Joe's down in Alabama, visiting friends and taking the bear to the Space and Rocket Center (lucky girl).

Things went surprisingly smooth - we slept until 7:00, got the puppy outside, had breakfast, got me showered, dressed & made up, got him cleaned up and dressed, got the puppy inside, packed up everything to take to the babysitter, crated Lillie and headed out by 7:45.

Quite a contrast to yesterday morning...

There's nothing like getting in your car on a Monday morning, all ready to get to work, and finding your front passenger tire is flat.

As a pancake.

And since you drove it 20 feet and turned the wheel before realizing this, the tire is falling off the rim, so getting out the compressor and putting enough air in it to limp it to the service station is NOT an option.

Then you think, "I'll call the roadside assistance plan I got when I bought the car", only to be told your plan does not, in fact, include roadside assistance.

This was when I made it back inside where Joe and J.J. were eating breakfast (Joe), reading the paper (again, Joe) and chewing on a rattle (J.J.).

"No problem - we pay for emergency assistance on our insurance", says my husband.

Yeah, we do - on his truck. I didn't add it to mine since I already had it through this other plan (or so I thought).

No problem - there's a service station I've used before a mere 3 miles away... they can come get the car and fix the tire.

Except their tow guy wasn't at work.

So they referred us to a different service station and Joe and J.J. got me to work and the other station (eventually) sent a guy who put my spare (donut) on and took the bad tire back to the station to fix it.

Except the tire couldn't be fixed.

No problem, Joe will just pick me up from work and we'll drive the car to the station and they'll put a new tire on while we grab lunch, then he can head out of town.

Except now the spare is flat as a pancake (I don't trust those things anyway).

No problem - the guy from the service station will bring the new tire over - it's already on our wheel and balanced - and we can follow him back to the station to settle up.

Which we did.

And the kicker? I had a great excuse to not only be late for work, but also take an extended lunch, and was not only on time yesterday, I was back to work one hour after I left for lunch.

Guess I'll have to save it for another day... :)

Monday, October 02, 2006